With the holiday season comes holiday travel, which requires a unique set of skills if you’re tackling it with kids in tow. For some insider tips on how the pros do it, we tapped Samantha Brown, mom of twins and host of PBS’ “Places to Love” for her best tips on traveling with kids:
Pack for your real life, not your imaginary one. Just leave the book, fashion magazine, or a crossword puzzle at home. You won’t get a chance. Trust me.
Dress for battle. For those of us still helping children onto the potty, let’s be honest: you are going to be spending more time than you want crouching down on a bathroom floor. A PUBLIC. BATHROOM. FLOOR.
Make a flight plan. Parent one uses pre-board to load in gear, sets up shop. Parent 2 waits with children and boards absolutely last. This way you wear them out, don’t expose them to the most stressful part of the trip-the boarding process and they are not constrained an extra 45 minutes (or longer) for the flight to leave.
Once you arrive at your destination…
Use the ironing board in your room. No, not to iron, but for more counter space or a TV dinner table. Lower it to make an activity table.
Two words: Duct tape. Use it to childproof outlets, tape drawers and toilet lids shut and wrangle dangling chords.
Safety first. When you walk into any new space (like a hotel room, Air BnB, cruise cabin), drop everything and check windows are locked, balcony doors shut and anything else that could be potentially dangerous for a wandering child.
Build in a siesta.No matter your age, we all get tired and cranky from around 2 to 4 pm. Build in a break, nap or low-key time for kids to color…okay, maybe you can bring that fashion magazine after all.
These tips are an excerpt from a list of tips originally published on Samantha’s site. For more tips, click here.